It’s 2022 and time we find new ways to spend date night rather than at an expensive restaurant or at the movie theater. Now I’m not saying these are bad date nights, but spicing up your weekly routine will more than likely spice things up in your relationship.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on every aspect of coming together, both literally and metaphorically. We are now forced to find COVID-safe things to experience with our significant other. Rather than shoving more lackluster stay-in date plans down your throat this season of love, I decided to put together a list of new things you and yours can do together.
Bond outside of your comfort zone
There’s nothing that brings couples together more than stepping outside of their comfort zone together. Find a common weakness and work on it together. If you both sh*t your pants, it’s not embarrassing: It’s bonding <3.
Conquer your fear of heights together. Check out one of the many climbing gyms around the area like The Edge in San Marco, Beach Rock Gym in Atlantic Beach or Stone in St. Augustine.
What better way to say “I trust you” than jumping out of a plane and plummeting to the ground together. There are multiple traditional skydiving businesses around the area like Skydive Amelia. If actually falling is too intense, slide by iFLy at St. Johns Town Center, an indoor simulator powered by large fans that mimic the feeling of weightlessness while skydiving.
Haunted Walking Tour
North Florida is built upon a violent history, and with that comes ghosts. Take a tour through Historic Downtown St. Augustine around the Castillo de San Marcos (aka The Fort), or head north to Amelia Island where otherworldly beings haunt homes and pubs alike.
Arguably the scariest on this whole list, it also comes with the most benefits. Set yourself up for success in the long run and learn how to deal with conflict together. The stigma around couples therapy is that only couples in a bad place need therapy, but laying positive groundwork before it hits the fan will only reduce stress from your relationship.
Get Outside Together
There are countless studies that show the positive benefits of spending time in nature like stress reduction and increase in dopamine production. Doing so with your significant other can have similar benefits in your relationship.
Ride the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail
This 14.5-mile paved bike trail is one of Jacksonville’s oldest traverses. Traveling through copious amounts of rural forest and historic landmarks like Camp Milton, you and your sweetie will feel like Lance Armstrong as you pedal your way on this out and back.
Step away from the concrete jungle and into some of the nature preserves around the area like the tree “boneyard” at Big Talbot Island, the rolling sand dunes of Hanna Park or the “waterfall” along the trails in Bulls Bay Preserve.
Dark Spot for Stars
Stargazing has been romanticized since the beginning of cinema, and for good reason. There’s nothing more relaxing than lying in the moonlight with the love of your life. Unfortunately, Duval development has clogged our view with light pollution which is why finding “dark spots” or areas with minimal light pollution will be sure to whoa your partner. Check out darksitefinder.com for a map of the closest dark spots to you. Most of these areas are off the beaten trail, so be ready for some adventuring.
Expand Your Minds and Your Relationship
Learning something new with your significant other is a great way to build team working skills and can help with conflict resolution, as well as everyday communication. Check out these ideas for things you can do and learn together.
Taking a class together will not only show you how to work together, but it will also teach you a skill or hobby, like cooking, you can carry throughout your lives. Learning to dance can boost intimacy and make you the life of the party at the next wedding you attend or crash.
This one is a personal favorite and one you can implement into your daily repertoire. Reading together gives you together-time you can look forward to, broadens topics you discuss and encourages you to slow down together and appreciate being present with your spouse.
Try Something … Different
Now, for the list you all have been waiting for, the outside-the-box thinking, different date ideas. Depending on your relationship with your partner, some of these may or may not fly, so tread lightly when planning surprise dates as some of these require consent and for you both to be on the same page.
Visit Realtor Open Houses and Pretend to Be Interested (or Actually Be Interested)
Exploring homes will open both of your imaginations to future opportunities whether or not you both already live together. Throw on your nicest suit and dress and walk in feeling more important than you actually are, probably.
Visit a Swingers Club
This is one that requires consent. I imagine this one would end very poorly without prior communication, but if you’re both open minded, this could really spice things up in the bedroom.
Go to a Sex Shop
Explore each other’s fantasies together at one of the many adult novelty shops around the area like Best of Jax winner Sunset Novelties.
Crash a Wedding
The premise of the movie Wedding Crashers was to crash weddings in order to find fine honeys, but if you already have a honey? Crashing a wedding with your significant other will no doubt spice things up in your relationship and give you an opportunity to meet new people, role play and walk the line of danger.
By far the most PG on this list, but one that can bring great joy. Find a common cause that you and your partner are passionate about and volunteer. Making an impact in the community will make you feel accomplished together.